Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned
On my moms’ refrigerator, there is a quote. My older sister put it there many years ago and it stayed. Every time I visit my parents and open the refrigerator, I read it. It says:
When you get angry, you punish yourself for other people’s stupidity
I remember myself being very angry as a kid (surprisingly, this was before my teen years). Life just did not work the way I wanted it to work – people did not behave the way I expected them and my actions did not get me where I wanted to be. Life pretty much sucked (I hope it is OK to say “sucked” in a post, because it explains how I felt perfectly).
It took me a while to understand what this quote meant, but when I did, a huge, heavy load came off my young shoulders. Realizing that anger was a poison I was carrying with me was a big revelation – scary, but very relieving. My life has been much happier since.
He who angers you conquers you
– Elizabeth Kenny
On my life coaching journey, I meet many angry people. Angry, disappointed and frustrated that most of the time, those feeling are reflect by their relationships, their health and their level of success in life. One major rule in teaching happiness is that the space inside is limited to one of them only and you have the power to choose.
For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is a beautiful story I love to tell that explains in a wonderful way the power of that choice. It is the story of the two wolves. I hope you find inspiration in this story the way I do.
One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “Grandson, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith”.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed”.
The two wolves are there when you look for a path in life.
The two wolves are there when you fight your kids’ behavior.
The two wolves are there when you need to make a choice.
The wolves are there when you relate and communicate with others.
The two wolves are there when you consider trying something new.
The two wolves are there when you come home in the evening.
The two wolves are there when you look at yourself in the mirror.
Which one will you feed today?